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Multiculturalism: A Christian Retrieval

Multiculturalism: A Christian Retrieval

Jonathan Chaplin argues that multiculturalism still has indispensable contribution to realising a just society.

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Recent years have seen an astonishingly rapid volte face regarding multiculturalism in Britain. Once political orthodoxy, it is now almost a by–word for segregation, exclusion and security threats.

In Multiculturalism: A Christian Retrieval, Jonathan Chaplin argues that in our haste to reassess multiculturalism in the light of evidence of its darker sides, we must not lose sight of its indispensable contribution to realising a just society.

Tracing the history of multiculturalism and clarifying precisely what is at stake in the debate, Chaplin offers a vision of “multicultural justice”, drawn from the resources of Christian social thought but accessible and persuasive to those outside the Christian faith.

Armed with the idea of multicultural justice, he examines a range of modern policy ideas – from housing and education to public funding – and the question of citizenship, and argues that we should seek not to repudiate multiculturalism altogether but rather to retrieve it by reformulating it in a more modest, chastened and credible form.

Jonathan Chaplin is Director of the Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics (

“Jonathan Chaplin provides here a Christian theological response to the challenge of increasing cultural and religious diversity…His contribution is considered and important for people of faith and for government.” (Atif Imtiaz, Academic Director, Cambridge Muslim College)

“At a time when we hear so much woolly chatter about ‘multiculturalism’ and its failure as a state sponsored policy, it’s refreshing to read Jonathan Chaplin’s thought–provoking and insightful treatment of this emotive and controversial subject.” (Dr R. David Muir, Director, Faith in Britain)


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